Chapter 30


Chapter 30: .ru

o Basically, this chapter talks about culture coexisting with other cultures as well. It was not unequivocally cited in the text but with the way Hobbs was described and his family too, we could imply that there is cultural incompatibility that is depicted. We could see at the beginning of the chapter Cayce’s curiosity on how Hobbs ended in that unlikely situation. Ngemi related to her how Hobbs drank himself to that situation and recounted a bit of Hobbs ancestry.

Hobbs name was really Hobbs-Baranov, it has hyphen separating his mother’s maiden name and his father’s surname. But we were introduced to Hobbs as Hobbs Baranov sans the hyphen. Hence, it looked like Hobbs was his given name and Baranov was his surname rather than having his mother’s maiden name attached to his name. I thought that this was about how the Americans use or not use, I mean, their mother’s maiden name. In North America, they don’t usually use their mother’s maiden name, so if I was an American it would be Bea Camille Dizon, no Gueco at the middle. I came to this realization since Hobbs family; specifically his father was defected to America, so I thought they had been accustomed to how the Americans live since they are, geographically speaking, in America. Still I would consider this a cultural incompatibility since they are Russians in citizenship who came to America and forced to change or just even modify their identity.

But I would like to work on the idea discussed in class about this cultural incompatibility which, somewhat led Hobbs to remove the hyphen in his name. I would term this as Hobbs “identity crisis”.161.jpg Hobbs is American in citizenship, but with a British mom and a defected Russian diplomat father. He grew up juggling three cultures. His mother, a wealthy Englishwoman, came from a society which, is in strict compliance with the class system. While his father, a Russian diplomat, who once belonged to a socialist society with no regard for class stratification. We could see here how cultures clash but may still coincide together. But could this be one of the reasons why Hobbs is so apathetic to the world?


o With culture, history is also tackled. In order to fully understand our culture, we must also understand our history. How this particular culture came about is one thing we must consider in tracking down our history.

History is the study of past events which left an impact in our society. In this chapter, it is important to deal with the Cold War. The Cold War happened after the World War Two between the US and the former Soviet Union. This war stirred a lot of global issues between countries. Their alliance during the WWII was not formed because they had the same advocacy; it was an alliance because they share the same enemy, the Nazis. The conflict started at the end of the WWII when both nations lost trust with each other.


This conflict between the US and the Soviet Union may be connected to how peculiar the move of Hobbs’ father in coming to America. It is very unlikely for Hobbs’ father to choose the America as the place where he sought political refuge. A Russian, especially a diplomat, would seek refuge anywhere in the world except for the number one enemy of their state, but Hobbs’ father did the opposite. He went to the US not for the citizenship but for protection. In return, the US would demand information from Hobbs father about the Soviet Union, which would be able to help them against their enemies. We would see here how history affected the way of thinking of people and how they would relate to society.


o We would also see the effects of globalization (or Americanization) like the seemingly narrowing down of boundaries when it comes to the World Wide Web. Everything is inter-connected because there is this simple process of infiltrating the internet and be able to access even some of the deep down secret documents. Globalization also leads us into forming our networks. These networks should not literally be networks conspiring in the internet; these networks may be formed by people through personal contacts or meetings. Cayce used Voytek to connect with Ngemi, whom she’ll seek help to speak with Hobbs, Hobbs who will help her find the email address of the maker of the footage. And Hobbs will use his own network, the Echelon to get the necessary information. This leads us into series of many connections and of course, chunks of information. Another network was formed when Cayce ask Ngemi to help her purchase the calculators from Greenaway. Cayce wanted a “curta protégé” to assess the curtas sold by Greenaway and if those curtas are the one which Hobbs needs.

One effect of Globalization is how it allows the interaction between people, across time and space through the use of information technology. A simple email from Cayce allowed her to connect with Voytek and as fast as the sound waves, Voytek answered the email. We can see here a seemingly burgeoning network formed by people with intersecting interest and ideas.


o The idea of trust where it could never be fully given to anyone even to the person you are supposed to “trust.” The word trust maybe as ancient as the construction of Noah’s arc, where Noah was tasked by Yahweh to create a huge ship that could weather any atrocious storm. The trust given by the Greeks to the oracle. The trust that Cayce gave to Parkaboy, but also the trust which is very aloof to Boone. This is quite uncanny since Cayce has never met Parkaboy. She doesn’t even know his real name or how he looks and even thinks that he is gay. But with Boone, whom she had work with for quite some time and the scooter guy who saved her in Japan, she finds it hard to give him the trust he gives to Parkaboy. Physical contact wasn’t a factor Cayce considers in deciding who to trust. Her interaction with Parkaboy through the internet (the F:F:F) weigh more than her circumstances with Boone which were coupled with treachery, unfaithfulness and annoyance. Cayce told Parkaboy that she’s into something and will report to him once she sees the result. The same question was posted to her by Boone but she answered indifferently to Boone saying that there is nothing to report to him. The network between Cayce and Parkaboy is based on developed friendship, while that of Boone is professional and doubtful. Boone is outside the circle of trust of Cayce, he must make his way in.


o The line where it says “it will help that he knows your American,” not only pertains to what Greenaway thinks that this American doesn’t have the luxury of time to decide what to buy, and won’t even bother how much will it cost them. Cayce is in London, and she is an American hence Greenaway might think that Cayce is just there to buy the curtas, so she wouldn’t have the time to argue about the price. Ngemi had told this to Cayce, maybe with the intention of telling Cayce how strong their (Americans) presence is everywhere. It was molded in our minds that America is the most powerful nation in the world and that Americans have this high regard for themselves. Superiority is at play in this chapter, not only in this apparent reason, but by the fact that all of us think they are superior.

american-flag.jpg We make them feel just like that.

o Espionage. A word which existed even during the times of the Spartans where Ephialtes leaked to the Persians the battle tactics of the Spartans. Although, the espionage we have now in the 21st century does not involve weapons and battles, it encompasses technology. Spying or surveillance has taken a step further from mere following of the target to the more modern way of sitting in a chair in front of the computer while listening to signals which may contain viable information. “Observe the protocol” This could be understood in two ways. First, the protocol may mean the agreement between Hobbs and Cayce, where Cayce would purchase the calculators from Greenaway if and only if, Hobbs would give her the email address of the person asking Sigil to do the encryption for them. The second protocol may involve the idea that Cayce is now a spy herself. Though not really a real spy like Hobbs, but a spy in a sense that she is now connected with Hobbs and she's already knowledgeable of what he's doing. A protocol is a set of rules observed by people exchanging information through the internet. She knows about Echelon and how Hobbs gets information from this secret organization.

The secret that Hobbs has been hiding is now known to Cayce so she must also treat this as highly secret.
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An effect of this espionage is the lost of privacy and security. We only feel the need to be secured when we know that we are unsecured. But we also seek security because we avoid having to think of being unsecured. So unsecured or not secured there is a need for security. Who knows that even our telephone conversations are tapped and recorded? Maybe there’s someone outside your house who is monitoring everything that you do. So better watch out. click here

Further notes on security:
Although I am not sure if there are such things as the government watching our every move and every transaction we make, there are already programs, from the past and he present, that allow our actions to be monitored. For example are the spywares that are ever present nowadays. We feel that the internet is a secure place and thus have no qualms sending information through it, but there are programs that are able trace all the information we send and the sites we go to.
IN our compute labs, its true that there is such a system; the teacher can see the exact same thing that is on a student's monitor. some programs even record every mouse-click or button typed such that passwords can be known.

at the end of the chapter, Baranov does email Cayce, but to a limited extent only. He believes that the more important details are not to be shared through the internet. Notice also when using the internet and accessing a site that requires a password (such as wikidot or email sites), the protocol on the address bar changes from http to https. This is a sign that you are now entering a more secure network. (the added 's' indeed stands for secure) this is also how e-commerce has addressed the issues on information being passed through the internet, especially since e-commerce deals with credit card accounts usually.
That is not to say however, that the internet can be totally safe and the information you give secure.
During the discussions, sir mentioned the spies in the movie Transformers in relation to the Echelon. Also mentioned was the movie Eagle Eye where the computer system had control on almost everything as long as it was automated. It could control the advertisement screens and what were shown, the trains on the stations, even as simple as the stop lights. Everything the cameras on the streets saw, the main computer and the people handling it could see also. In effect, the antagonists were not humans but the technology itself, which is a really scary idea considering that it could control humans through threats.

Also a main idea in the chapter was commerce, and intriguingly so because this commerce was propelled by the exchange r rather the value of information rather than money. As we have seen in this chapter, irregardless of the price of the curta, the object was still much more important because it was the means by which Cayce could get the information she needed. The transaction itself that dealt with credit cards is rather just an exchange of information rather than of money itself.
We also see here that what we give value to is not anymore the information, but the person who holds the connections. Baranov could acquire the information that Cayce wanted, because he had connections. Informatin itself has indeed become a commodity.
In this day and age of information society, truly information has become one of the things that propel society and its members. And as cliche as it is, we are reminded of the saying that 'knowledge is power'.

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